Office of Public Affairs and Communications


Peter Hong
Peter Y. Hong

Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications

(909) 607-9099

Peter Hong is Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications.

He oversees all aspects of the department. Hong joined Claremont McKenna from California State University, Los Angeles, where he was Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Initiatives. He has been a top-level aide to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and served as transition chief of staff for Los Angeles County Supervisor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. For 20 years, Hong was a reporter in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Businessweek Magazine.

Joann Young
Joann D. Young

Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications

(909) 607-9246

Joann D. Young is Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications.

Before joining Claremont McKenna College, Young served as Communications Manager at Auto Club Speedway, the premier motorsports facility in Southern California. She worked alongside world-class athletes, high-profile corporate companies, Hollywood A-listers, local community partners, and some of the most influential journalists from around the world to create, launch, and manage award-winning public relations and marketing campaigns.

Prior to the Auto Club Speedway, Young took on media relations, marketing, and producing at various radio broadcast properties including the Disney-owned ABC Radio Networks, the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Broadcast, and The Tavis Smiley Show on public radio.

Young earned a B.A. in Criminology, Law and Society and a B.A. in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She was also a Fellow with the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Chris Watts
Chris Watts

Director of Communication for Athletics Advancement/Staff Writer

(909) 607-9981

Chris Watts is Director of Communication for Athletics Advancement and a Staff Writer in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications at Claremont McKenna College. Watts transitioned into this position after nearly four years as the Director of Athletics Communication for CMC and CMS Athletics, and its 21 NCAA Division III varsity teams.

Prior to coming to Claremont in November of 2012, Watts served for four-plus years as the recreational sports manager and sports information assistant in the Chapman University athletic department. He also worked as the media relations assistant for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a minor league baseball team in Southern California, before working at Chapman.

In addition, Watts has assisted in the media operations of several major sporting events including the 2014 Rose Bowl, 2014 BCS National Championship, 2010 Fiesta Bowl, 2011 BCS National Championship Game and 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game along with the 2011, 2014 and 2016 Division I Men’s Basketball West Regionals.

He received a B.A. in Mass Communication from Principia College (Ill.) in 2008 and his M.A. in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco in 2011. During his time at Principia, he played four seasons of basketball and was voted captain by his teammates and coaches for three seasons. Watts is a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Watts is from Redmond, Wash. and lives with his wife Brittany and dog Rainier in Monrovia.

Grace Comisso
Grace Comisso

Art Director

(909) 607-6128

Grace Comisso is Art Director for the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

She creatively designs, develops and produces CMC publications to communicate clear, consistent messaging for the College.

Before joining CMC, Comisso managed her own design studio and worked as an art director for various clients, ad agencies and in-house corporate design departments. Her design career spans more than two decades in Pennsylvania, New York, and now in California, where she has created marketing materials for education, entertainment, finance, healthcare, human resources and real estate industries.

She studied Visual Communications at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Anibal Ortiz
Anibal Ortiz

Photographer / Videographer

(909) 621-8321

Anibal Ortiz is Photographer and Videographer of Public Affairs and Communications.

Before joining Claremont McKenna College, Ortiz worked as a visual journalist in Albany, Ore., where he covered news, sports, and feature stories for the Albany Democrat-Herald and the Corvallis Gazette-Times. A California native, Ortiz began his career in Southern California as a photographer at the Orange County Register.

Ortiz earned a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism from California State University, Fullerton.

Tatiana Shabelnik
Tatiana Shabelnik

Interactive Web Services Manager

(909) 607-2131

Tatiana Shabelnik, M.L.I.S, is Web Interactive Services Manager for the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Shabelnik served eleven years as a Web Manager for Whittier College and four years as a Web Team Manager and Reference and Instructional Services Librarian for Michigan Technological University. She also taught library and information science at the University of Culture in Belarus for five years. In 2010-2011, Shabelnik served as President of the Rotary Club of Pico Rivera, and in 2011 represented Rotary International and Rotary District 5300 at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

She received her B.A. and master’s degrees in Library and Information Science at the Belorussian University of Culture, and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and Certificate of Advanced Studies from Louisiana State University. She also completed coursework in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University for its Ph.D. program.

Martin Beck
Martin Beck

Interim Director of Web Communications

(909) 607-9245

Martin Beck is Interim Director of Web Communications for the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Previously, Beck covered the social media industry for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land, and was the social media and reader engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times. Beck, who started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor, has a masters degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and bachelors degrees in political science and economics from UC Irvine. He lives in Costa Mesa with his wife Stephanie.